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Red Bull's Sergio Perez Demands Top Brass Sit-Down After Team Orders Cost Him P1 in Spain

Well, this is awkward, but also perfectly understandable. Anyone watching this past weekend’s Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix surely noticed the moment in which Perez let Verstappen through, compromising his own race for the betterment of the team.
Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez 7 photos
Red Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez
But that’s just the thing. Perez letting Verstappen through didn’t benefit the team as much as it benefited Verstappen in the latter’s direct title fight against Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

The Mexican driver was told over the radio not to hold up Verstappen, who had been switched onto a different tire strategy. This was a bit odd, seen as how earlier in the race, it was Perez who had fresher tires and Red Bull refused to get Verstappen out of his way.

In the end, Red Bull got their 1-2 finish in Spain, with Verstappen claiming P1 together with the lead in the 2022 Drivers' Standings.

“I’m happy for the team, but we need to speak later,” said Perez following the race, while trying to be as diplomatic as possible. “I think it was close. But at the end it is a great team result. I’m happy for that.”

When asked about how frustrated he sounded over team radio, Perez was quoted by Motorsport as saying: “We were on different tire strategies at the time. I let Max by in the beginning, then I thought at the time I could go by and not lose crucial seconds to make my strategy work. But anyway, it’s a good team result.”

Meanwhile, team principal Christian Horner insists that his call was not based on who was leading the championship, but rather on the status of the tires on both cars.

“I think we will discuss it and he [Perez] will see the race plot, and he will see that he had close to 30 laps to do on the tires, which in the end we needed to pit to make sure we covered Russell.”

We don’t mean to take sides here, but the only reason why Perez had to “cover” Russell was because Red Bull didn’t get Verstappen out of his way earlier in the race, which would have been fair seen as how it was Perez who first stepped aside for his teammate.


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